NACHC’s Advocacy Center of Excellence, or ACE, Program supports and recognizes health centers that achieve specific measures of advocacy success and demonstrate ongoing commitment to advocacy by making it an organizational priority. As part of the Program, ACE Health Centers create a true culture of advocacy across their organization by operationalizing advocacy practices, creating supporting infrastructure, actively engaging in federal policy issues in coordination with NACHC as well as key state-level policy issues impacting Health Centers and their patients in coordination with State/Regional Primary Care Associations. There are three levels of ACE status: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each designation is valid for two years. There is a checklist of items a Health Center must complete in order to become an ACE.
The Grassroots Advocacy Leadership Program (ALP) is a six-month education and skills-building program that begins during the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum (P&I), typically in March each year, and continues through approximately September. The ALP is designed to provide intensive training and hands-on experience in all aspects of Health Center Advocacy to empower health center and primary care association (PCA) staff, board members, patients, and other Advocates by providing them with the knowledge and tools to be effective grassroots advocacy leaders in their communities.
The Board Member Advocacy Certificate Program, or BMAC, is designed to help educate and engage board members on advocacy and policy issues. Much like the Advocacy Center of Excellence (ACE) Program, BMAC consists of a checklist of advocacy-related programming a participant must complete in order to be eligible for the certificate. Board members can and should be powerful and effective advocates for their Health Centers, and this program is intended to help connect them to information and best practices that they can use to create a culture of advocacy at their organization.
The Digital Advocacy University is designed for individual advocates/health center staff to build their grassroots capacity in the digital arena. The program will provide students with trainings and course work on digital advocacy strategy and specific guides for social media management, content creation, and program evaluation. The courses and trainings will be offered in the form of live and recorded webinars each month for a six month period.
NACHC’s Key Contact Program is dedicated to identifying, training and supporting key advocates at the health center level who have direct, working relationships (whether personal or professional) with Members of Congress, and in some cases, key Congressional staff. Health center Key Contacts are those who can pick up the phone or send a personal email to communicate directly with their Member of Congress to deliver the health center message and share their perspective on various issues impacting the Health Centers Program and the patients heath centers serve.
The Hispanic Advocacy Center Excellence (HACE), a new iteration of the ACE program, is an initiative to institutionalize grassroots advocacy at health centers by engaging Hispanic patients and community members in advocacy and empowering them to play an active role in the Health Center Movement.
In recognition of this large demographic within the Health Center patient population – nearly 35% of all Health Center patients – NACHC designed the Hispanic Advocacy Program (HAP). With attention paid to some of the unique aspects of this community, including differing backgrounds and cultures, through the HAP NACHC works to build and grow advocacy programming that encourages participation in advocacy among Hispanic communities in a linguistically and culturally competent way. The overarching goal of the HAP is to engage the Hispanic community to support health centers in order to further the Health Center Movement through advocacy and increase the power, reach and effectiveness of health center patients.